Lincoln Materials Science Platform
School of Mathematics and Physics
Professor Alexander Böker
Wednesday 22 October 2014
Ultra-thin Self-Assembled Protein-Polymer Membranes: A New Pore Forming Strategy
Patrick van Rijn, Murat Tutus, Christine Kathrein, Nathalie C. Mougin, Hyunji Park, Christopher Hein, Marco P. Schürings, and Alexander Böker*
DWI – Leibniz-Institut für Interaktive Materialien, Lehrstuhl für Makromolekulare Materialien und Oberflächen, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Self-assembled membranes offer a promising alternative for conventional membrane fabrication, especially in the field of nano-filtration. However, recent advances pushing the developments in self-assembled membranes towards thinner membranes with more selectivity are still limited with respect to active permeation area, stability and responsiveness. Here we introduce a new pore-making strategy which involves stimuli responsive protein-polymer conjugates self-assembled across a large area of 5 cm2 using drying-mediated interfacial self-assembly. Proteins are used as a sacrificial template which – upon denaturing – provide hydrophilic pores of identical size. The permeation is controlled by temperature switching below and above the lower critical solution temperature of the polymer. The membrane is flexible and easily assembled on porous supports. A high mass transport was measured and a size-selectivity of particles below 20 nm was determined, which is in very good agreement with the size of protein used. This approach diversifies membrane technology since various sizes and shapes of proteins can be used, in addition to different responsive polymers generating a platform for “smart” self-assembled membranes.
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 P. van Rijn, N.C. Mougin, A. Böker Polymer, 2012, 53, 6045.
 P. van Rijn, H. Park, K. Özlem Nazli, N.C. Mougin, A. Böker Langmuir, 2013, 29, 276.
 P. van Rijn, M. Tutus, C. Kathrein, N.C. Mougin, H. Park, C. Hein, M.P. Schürings, A. Böker Adv. Funct. Mater. 2014, doi: 10.1002/adfm.201401825.